When “Senses” was announced by spoken word artist and rapper Hondred Percent a few weeks ago, he thought it an opportunity to share back story and inspiration behind his poems, spend intimate time with his fans, and also build a solid fanbase with whom he could share his future projects with.
‘An artist is nothing without his fans’, he emphasized during the Q&A session. Hondred Percent (real name Paul Forjoe Jnr) has been involved with poetry since his childhood years. Despite growing up on rap music, he had always been fascinated by wordplay and rhymes, and that had stayed with him till date. ‘I often times get confused as to whether what I write is poetry or rap’, he confessed.
That notwithstanding, Hondred Percent knew under which category his piece ‘’Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message’. The poem, which is found on his debut 2017 album, WTF? is a portrait of his views on Africa, the continent he loves. From conflicts, wars, avoidable disasters and political and economic plagues bedevilling Africa, Hondred Percent, in a rap and spoken word style touches on an ubiquitous situation in Africa. He also performed ‘Gigididi’; ‘Akola Boni’, a call for the resurrection of moral fibre and ‘Bitch Nigga Shit’, which dissected and contextualized the use and meaning of the slangs ‘nigga’ and ‘bitch’ in everyday parlance.
Hondred Percent (aka One- Zero- Zero) took his poetry performance seriously during his time in University days in South Africa. With its vibrant spoken word scene, it was easier for Paul to plug in and make a name for himself. Armed with that experience and confidence, he began making inroads within the Ghanaian poetry space from 2011, blending elements of rap and spoken work. He was ultimate crowning as the Ehalaksa Slam Champion in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The evening wasn’t only about Hondred and his performances. He invited opinions and/or critiques from the gathered audience after sharing three new poems. ‘I want you to tell me what you think…so I can improve on the pieces’. The opinions were varied yet positive
Except for the low turnout (I was expecting more people than those who turned up. There were about 20), the event was a positive initiative. It offered the audience an opportunity to appreciate the state of mind of the artist; leading to a better appreciation of what one finally hears on their albums or EPs.
‘I’m looking at sustaining this…to help build a good following’, he told me after the event. For Hondred Percent, an artist’s work isn’t done if it doesn’t impact people and society. Despite being such a herculean task, Hondred Percent is undeterred. After all, that’s what he has committed himself to do.
“Senses’’ was held on Friday 23rd February at The Shop Accra.